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Grandma Catherine’s Ricotta Cheesecake

Many Stroudsmoor recipes have been passed from generation to generation to generation. This wonderful cheesecake recipe comes from our maternal GGM Katherine Cervino.


  • 3 pounds of Ricotta — she preferred Poly Brand
  • 9 Eggs — always farm-fresh and brown in her day
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon orange and lemon zest — from fruit selected by her husband GGfather Jimmy from his neighborhood produce business.
  • 1 ½ Cup sugar
  • 1/3 Cup corn starch
family photo great grandmother

Sometimes made without a crust – usually for the Italian holidays – and sometimes as a pie with a crust for a summer family gathering.

Let’s start with the holiday version . . .

  1. Butter a springform pan and dust lightly with flour
  2. Remember to wrap the bottom of the pan in foil to prevent the ricotta mixture from leaking
  3. Process or puree ricotta until smooth
  4. Put ricotta in a mixing bowl, and add eggs, vanilla and zest
  5. Whisk until smooth
  6. Combine sugar and cornstarch evenly in a separate bowl
  7. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture to the ricotta mixture
  8. Pour final mix into the springform pan
  9. Place pan in a 1” water bath for baking — GGM Katherine uses a roasting pan passed down from her GGM
  10. Bake for 1-2 hours at 350° until knife in center comes out clean
  11. Cool in oven with the door cracked open for 30-minutes — GGM Katherine had to use a spoon to keep her oven door open, but times and ovens have changed

When cooled, release the spring and remove the cake from the pan, place it on a cake pedestal and dust the entire cake with powdered sugar and a sprinkle of orange and lemon zest. GGM Katherine would never serve her Ricotta Cheesecake without espresso and limoncello — GGF Jimmy would have it no other way!

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